Padding My Account

Today I will be saying farewell to the father-son track bikes I received from Classic Cycle this past spring, for they are packed and ready for their long journey westward:

I always carefully document the unpacking of these bicycles so I remember how to put them back in the case when the time comes to return them to Bainbridge Island. This time it was especially crucial since it was a two-piece shipment and I never would have remembered what went where. Fortunately I had photos, so everything would up nice and tidy:

As a semi-professional bike blogger, packing up bicycles and bringing them to shipping centers is about as close as I get to doing actual work. However, you should not confuse my casual lifestyle with sloth; in fact, since I work on my bicycles in the basement right near where the washing machines are, I always maximize my productivity by putting in a few loads of laundry at the same time. This means that, while I’m a-wrenchin’, the soiled underwear’s a-tumblin’. Of course, it also means that by the time I take the clothes out of the dryer my hands are filthy and I have to wash everything all over again, but I pay myself by the hour so it all works out in the end.

While I eagerly await the next vintage bicycle from Classic Cycle for my delectation, these were particularly meaningful since they inspired me to enroll my son in the Star Track program at Kissena Velodrome, which has been absolutely fantastic. (You can donate to the program here, moneybags, they truly deserve it.) The return of these bikes in no way means his track-ventures are at an end; in fact, he officially began the fall session this past weekend. However, he’s already outgrown the Frejus in the short time he’s had it, so he’s using the program’s bikes until I get him one of these:

Just kidding:

Though I must say I do occasionally see people riding Cipollini bicycles, and I’m always amazed they’re able to do so with a straight face.

Once I’d packed up the bikes, I then moved on to my Jones, which was in need of new brake pads. First I locked the rear derailleur open with that little button everyone makes such a big deal about:

Then I removed the wheel and utilized a proprietary tool to extract the high-tech fastener that keeps the pads secure in the caliper:

I forget what you call it, but I understand it’s named after its inventor:

When prepping the Jones for my vacation, I noted the rear pads were getting worn, but I estimated that they’d at least last for the duration of the trip. It turns out I was right, but there wasn’t much left to work with:

A little more mud and I’d have heard metal on metal:

Naturally the fronts were in better shape:

If you’re confused about when to replace disc brake pads, here’s how it works. See, when you’ve got a turkey slice worth of pads left you’re fine:

But once you get down to prosciutto it’s time for replacement:

There are few concepts that can’t be explained with sliced meats–though when it comes gauging rotor wear, cheddar slices are a better indicator of minimum thickness:

Anyway, I changed both sets of pads, replacing them with organic ones:

Organic means they don’t have any hormones, and I got these at Whole Foods, the same place where I got my Reference Meats. They also come in quite handy if you need to pumice your heels:

That’s a thick brake pad!

Once I finished installing the new pads, I discarded the rears, but I took some packing tape and made a little “blister pack” for the old front set:

Then I put it in my handlebar bag in case I run out of brake pads on my next vacation.

A few quick adjustments and my deli slicers were complete:

So I headed out for a short ride to bed in the cold cuts:

The brakes now feel terrific, despite being lowly Tektro mechanicals.

I must have done something wrong.

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